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Preventing Issues

Tyler Muto

Tyler Muto, a well established dog trainer in USA. His high-drive dog (Malinois on the right) almost always wears an eCollar.

New eCollar trainers often become drunk with some initial success and then want to go off the longline too soon or try to use the eCollar for every command initially. If you are a new eCollar trainer please don't do this. There should be a structured approach and patience to your training.

Initially, only use the eCollar for training the recall. You might be tempted to use it to enforce sits or downs. The problem is that if you have not trained many dogs, you can add confusion. In the early stages of training, the eCollar stim means one thing and one thing only; that being move towards the handler. In addition to not using the eCollar for too many things, keeping the dog on a longline for a longer period of time is highly recommended. Anytime, the dog has any confusion, the dog can be guided into returning. Leash pressure helps to build muscle memory which is defined on this site as a programmed response that occurs without thinking.

When working with the dog under slightly higher levels of distraction, you might have to use higher levels of stimulation. This could cause confusion in some dogs. If the dog still has a longline on, you will be able to guide the dog in the right direction.

Once the dog has mastered the recall, other commands can be slowly phased in, but only one at a time. By keeping your training structured, you will be taking great strides to eliminate confusion.

One of the most important things that needs to be understood, is that dogs have different drive levels and personalities. Some dogs are soft and lack drive. If you push a soft dog too hard regardless of the type of training, you might end up with a dejected looking dog. By working at the dog's pace and keeping things happy and fun, you are more likely to have a happy but compliant dog.

Sometimes people hear that professional trainers have a reasonably well-trained dog in five days and they try to emulate this fast pace. This would be a huge mistake with a soft or low drive dog. Even if the training takes several weeks, your goal should be the ultimate result and not the speed of training. We always advocate training using very low levels of stimulation and taking a slow approach. Remember, Low and Slow is the Way to Go.

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